Apr. 13th, 2013 03:03 pm
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I am learning how to use my medications to maximize the amount of usable time I'll have in each day. This is a skill I never wanted to have to learn, but that I'm happy to have learned.

Today, this meant I was able to cook breakfast, start a pot of beans, go do laundry, do some homework, take a long walk, and make cornbread before the meds wore off. Now that they've worn off, my physical work is pretty much done and I can drive to the potluck/poetry reading tonight and just rest my tired, sore body. Could be worse!

Which reminds me: if you're local and a woman, there's a poetry reading tonight that you may want to attend. I'm giving a friend a ride, and we could add you if you wanna go. Details at


Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:01 am
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Today, I'm going to get a neck ultrasound. I *hate* this procedure. It's not as bad as the needle biopsy (huge needles jabbed in my neck? no, thanks!), but in terms of anxiety, it's worse than the surgery, for me. By the end of twenty minutes or so in which someone is pressing hard on my neck, I feel so violated and deeply endangered (as though someone had been choking me for twenty minutes) that I usually spend the next few hours kind of shellshocked.

I think I was wise not to schedule myself to return to work after the procedure. Bleah.

(I'm even less keen on it today than usual, because all my blood tests say there's no cancer left in my body, and so part of me wants to be all "Okay, then. Then I don't have to have the ultrasounds any more, right? I mean, there's nothing to see! Move along, move along.")

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Joining [personal profile] jae in being up way too early. There's a balance I have trouble striking when the pain's bad--if i don't rest enough, it's a bad thing, but if I lie in bed a lot, I awaken at 5 in the morning and everything hurts. *sigh*

Can't take my meds yet -- hormones first, then an hour before food/meds. See how glamorous my life is?
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Pretty nearly perfect day today.

* Pain levels are low

* My mom's going to be getting a knee or two replaced, which may end her horrible pain, which keeps her up nights

* Two-year cancer checkup, at which the doc says there's not only no sign of cancer, but 99% of thyroid cancer recurrences happen in the first two years, so there's a 1% chance I'll have to deal with this cancer again some time in my life, beyond monitoring, and basically, I have, in his words, "licked the cancer".

* Lovely walk in the rain with someone who just got paid. Ambled through the neighborhood to several great places, spending a little bit at a time of his money as we went:

- our newly opened neighborhood cheese shop, where we got grilled cheese and tomato soup and sweet iced tea
- Peet's, to get coffee (they don't sell coffee (yet?) at the Sacred Wheel)
- Creative Reuse, where we got a couple books, some mint tins to use as dice boxes, and some art supplies for the kid
- Clausen House, where we didn't buy anything, but we did drool over some number of things
- Tara's, where I had a lovely little scoop of raspberry sorbet, even though [personal profile] james_huber thinks it's too cold for ice cream
- Casper's, where we had a second-lunch snackish thing while exclaiming over what a perfect day we were having

Forget the fact that the IRS has written to tell me I have two weeks to give them $929. Forget that completely, because today is a GOOD day, and I'll deal with that tomorrow.
serene: fuck cancer (fuck cancer)
[Note: the scans are the things that require all the yucky diet-and-drugs stuff]

Me, to my endocrinologist: "[...]Dr. Han said you might want to do another test for the antibodies because this was a different test from the one you'd done in the past. If they're still undetectable in 3 months, does that mean that I'll switch to being monitored just by blood tests instead of doing the scans?"

Her: "I'm glad we were able to detect the cancer and take care of it. I'll let you know when the USC antibodies come back, maybe that's the one to which Dr. Han was referring. We continue to follow these antibodies, but stretch out the frequency, for at least 5-10 years, if not longer. There will likely be other scans in the future, but with negative tumor markers, we generally go with ultrasounds. I do not forsee [sic] another whole body scan in the near future based on your latest labs, but things may change depending on follow up."
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Hi Ms. Vannoy,

Below is [sic] your WHOLE BODY SCAN results. This, along with your negative thyroglobulin levels with stimulation, is great news. I have also asked the lab to send a sample to USC to double check. I would recommend you repeat your thyroid labs in 3 months and return in 6 months. We can skip to the good part )
Whole-body diagnostic iodine scan is negative for metastatic disease.

Pretty spiffy, huh?


Jun. 25th, 2010 10:10 am
serene: morton salt girl (morton salt girl)
I think I'll be retiring my radioactive-iodine-themed icons after this post -- my scan is totally clean!
serene: Warning: Sexy radiation hazard ahead (radiation)
Discovered today why the scan was moved to Friday and the new location. Turns out the pharmacy was out of the isotope they used last time (I want to say I-131) and they had to use a different one (I-123?). The new isotope has to be read by a more sensitive machine, which Kaiser has in a different location from the one I usually use, and it has to be read two days after taking the pill, not one day. So there's that mystery cleared up, anyway.

Tomorrow, I'll go see [personal profile] stonebender, then pick up the rental car. Friday, the scan and then a shopping trip for a thing I'm cooking for on Saturday.

I feel pretty good as long as I don't try to walk too much. Things could be a lot worse.

(And thanks again, [ profile] kightp, for the icon. It still makes me smile.)
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I am sitting here with my shoes off, eating a bowl of raspberry sorbet with figs on top. Later, [ profile] someotherguy is going to make me some guacamole with garlic and noniodized salt so I can have chips and guacamole and salt-free salsa. Then I'm gonna put my feet up and play games on his iPad until bedtime.

I was thwarted all day*, and I deserve this pampering, if I do say so myself.

* )
serene: fuck cancer (fuck cancer)
I had my first Thyrogen injection today, and other than a few hours of fatigue (cured with sleeping) and slight headache/nausea (cured with aspirin, waiting, orgasm, and food), I'm feeling fine.

Injection #2 tomorrow; radioactive iodine Wednesday; whole-body scan Thursday.

My hope is that on Thursday, they'll look at the scan, find nothing, and send me on my way. Worst-case scenario is that they'll find something and tell me that I need to do 2 weeks more of the LID, combined with 2 weeks off my meds. The off-my-meds part is the part I dread, but if I recall correctly (I'll check my journal from last year), it was only really bad for a week or so last time, so I shall try not to whine too much about it, especially since I don't have to go back to work for a while yet.

Quick notes

Jun. 6th, 2010 02:44 pm
serene: morton salt girl (morton salt girl)
Mom keeps being surprised that she's tired. Um. Yeah. You basically took a mortar round to the stomach. That can tire a person out.

She keeps seeming utterly shocked that I'm tired. (I did have surgery, and I am doing all her cooking, cleaning, and lifting, so I'm not shocked.)

I wouldn't let her go yard-saling today, so she told her sister I'm her jailer, but she did it laughingly.

I made her sit in the car while I got $90 worth of stuff for $15 at CVS. She was duly impressed. Then we went to her fave Mexican grocery, which rocks, and she used an electric cart while I pushed a shopping cart. We bought lots of cool stuff and she got all happy again. :-) (I am happy because I got a big bag of dried pasillas for something like a dollar, so we're having enchiladas as soon as I can eat iodine again.

I am making pot roast for dinner. Her boyfriend approves.

Had a nice talk with [ profile] wtfpotatoes on the phone today. It was good to talk to her and to hear that she's doing okay, even if all the good lunchmeat is gone. (Ahem, because she ate it.)

"I miss you."

"I miss you too, sweetie."

"Does [ profile] someotherguy know how to cook?"

"Yes, love, he's a good cook. You've eaten his food before."

"Mostly we're just having sandwiches. I mean, I like sandwiches and all, but I miss you."

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My mom is tough as nails. I ran out of steam before she did yesterday. She's home, doing really well, and eager to get out and shop 'til she drops. She had a minor mishap with her [TMS (Too Much Squeam)] yesterday -- okay, maybe a sort of major mishap -- and I managed, with the advice nurse's help, to, as [ profile] someotherguy put it, stick my finger in the dike well enough for her not to have to go to the ER to get it fixed. The home-health nurse will come and do a better fix some time today.

Minor squeam below the cut )

Got to see Munchkin The Elder. We went for a drive and cracked each other up by singing American Pie together -- actually, I sang American Pie and he sang the Weird Al spoof (about Anakin Skywalker) at the same time, and we both had trouble staying on track. We were laughing so hard by the time it was done.

Today, mom and I have to stay home to wait for the home-health nurse to come and fix her setup, so I should get a little rest, anyway. I just made her a mini crustless quiche (she's paranoid about carbs) with onions, mushrooms, green cauliflower, and muenster. Right up her alley. I'm so happy she's letting herself sleep past 7am; she practically thinks it's immoral to sleep.

So today, I shall cook, eat low-iodine foods, rest, and clip coupons. I plan to go to CVS with her tomorrow and dazzle her with how much stuff I get for free. ;-)

I miss [ profile] wtfpotatoes. I miss my sweeties. I miss my home. Still, things are going pretty well here, even though the first day was exhausting and hard.

How are you doing?
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Mom says the pain isn't even comparable to last time. It hurt a lot last night, but now she's not even having to take the max pain meds (though she is taking some). She's on complete bedrest, and will be in the hospital at least 10 days.

The Best Grandboss Ever wrote to ask me how mom is. I love my job, to which I called in sick today because I was up all night coughing. I really NEED to kick this cold before tomorrow night's 500-mile drive. Really truly. So today, I'm going to do rest and soup, then more rest, then more soup.

Mom update

May. 26th, 2010 10:35 pm
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I'm just going to copy this out of an IM with Guy, because I'm really tired right now and don't feel like typing it again.

(10:22:51 PM) serenefornow: mom is out of surgery, finally. took longer than it was supposed to, because it was worse than he expected, but he thinks it went well.
(10:23:09 PM) serenefornow: he had the former chief of surgery as his assistant, so he said she really got some good help.
(10:23:44 PM) serenefornow: Lots of TMI that I can tell you later or spare you, either way, but she'll be in the hospital 10 days to 2 weeks, poor thing, and she won't be able to eat for the better part of a week.
(10:24:28 PM) xango6exu: Do they think they fixed it?
(10:24:34 PM) serenefornow: I absolutely HATE that there's no one spending the night with her to make sure she's okay, but next week, I'll be there, and I just have to not give in to the temptation to call and cancel my oral surgery so I can go down NOW.
(10:24:36 PM) serenefornow: yeah
(10:24:39 PM) serenefornow: It's fixed.
(10:25:13 PM) serenefornow: It'll be a long recovery with lots of yucky wound-related stuff, but I can handle that. It was harder last time because [my loathsome sister] totally failed on that front, but if I'm there, I'll take care of it.
(10:25:36 PM) serenefornow: Can I quote this in my LJ so I don't have to type it out again?
(10:26:07 PM) xango6exu: Sure, whatever helps
(10:26:36 PM) xango6exu: Yes you will take good care of her, unlike your sister
(10:27:03 PM) serenefornow: I really want to be there right now watching over her.
(10:27:13 PM) serenefornow: But I gotta let it go.
(10:27:15 PM) xango6exu: I know it's hard not to go right down there sweetheart
(10:27:54 PM) serenefornow: I'll see her on Saturday, and if I really feel like I have to, I can always decide then to move my surgery. At least I'll be down there before she's out of the hospital, so she doesn't have to manage on her own.
(10:28:20 PM) xango6exu: Exactly
(10:28:47 PM) serenefornow: and the nurses there all know and like her. :-) She jokes about getting a frequent-flyer card there.
(10:28:59 PM) xango6exu: :-)
(10:29:50 PM) xango6exu: If the nurses are on her side they'll take good care of her
(10:30:25 PM) serenefornow: Yeah. It's hard, though. I mean, it's just easier if someone's in the room, so that when mom wakes up, she doesn't have to get someone's attention for a sip of water or something. But I know it'll be fine. I'm just angsting.
(10:30:37 PM) xango6exu: Hopefully, she'll just be doing a lot of sleeping and healing. She'll need you more when she gets home
(10:30:54 PM) serenefornow: I'm actually kind of resentful that her boyfriend and my brother were there, but then went home and left her there alone, even though I KNOW that was a reasonable choice.
(10:30:59 PM) serenefornow: Yeah.
(10:32:50 PM) xango6exu: I know, it would be better if someone was there when she woke, but she knows the drill. Give her my love when you talk to her next.
serene: mailbox (Default)
Pretty sick, but got a little bit done today: all the dishes; cleared off the "sorting table" and the dining table; cleaned off about half the kitchen island. Now I'm gonna go sit and suck on my popsicles and clip coupons.

Mom went to the doctor today. The TMI... )

...and then the angst )
serene: fuck cancer (fuck cancer)
Behind the cuts, numbers and musing, for my records and the interest of people who like reading test results, ya big weirdos ;-)

First, the cancer/heart stuff... )

...then the pain/inflammation and the rickets. )
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Look away, [ profile] nooks, I'm about to blog about blogging. Sort of.

Do you re-read your posts? I do. Whenever I get a comment, at least for the first few comments on every post, I reread my original post. I catch a lot of typos this way, and sometimes I actually have an emotional reaction to something that I wrote, stoically, minutes earlier.

This time, it's the medication situation. I typed it in, felt fine, hit send, got a comment, re-read my post, and am now bawling my eyes out because I fucking HATE the whole cancer/medication/symptoms/ick/GARBAGE so MUCH.


It'll pass. I know it will. Still sucks.


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